Book of the Month
The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy and Commander in Chief, by Susan Allen, Regnery Publishing. 2013, $16.95
How did Ronald Reagan get the nickname “Dutch”? What was he most proud of during his presidency? Answers to these questions and more are offered by an inspiring introduction to our 40th president in a new book for children. It is written by Susan Allen, the former first lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with charming illustrations by Leslie Harrington.
The Remarkable Ronald Reagan tells the story of a man who worked hard and made all his dreams come true. He was an all-American boy who played football, basketball, and ran track. A strong swimmer, Reagan worked seven summers as a lifeguard to help pay for college.
Reagan enjoyed performing on stage and being a leader; he was student body president at his Illinois college. When he visited a friend in California, he screen tested to be in movies and was hired by a studio. His stage name was his real name, which was quite unusual in those days. Reagan made 53 movies and served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Reagan ran for governor of California and served two terms. He was elected President of the United States at a time when the country desperately needed a positive and enthusiastic leader. Allen states that Reagan “always seemed to have the right words to say at the right time” and that “he spoke powerfully to unite the nation.” Those are two very important abilities for a president to possess.
For older children there are three pages of dated highlights of his life and two pages of important things Reagan said.
Reagan was nicknamed “Dutch” by his father who said his baby son Ronald looked like a “fat little Dutchman.” Reagan said the two accomplishments during his presidency that made him happiest were that Americans had created many jobs and that America was again respected by the world.
It is important for children to be introduced to Ronald Reagan as he really was. His son, Michael Reagan, recently exposed the falsehoods in the new movie, The Butler, which portrays his dad as a racist. Michael states that his father’s best friend at Eureka College was a black man and that he believed all racism was wrong. Michael states that the Hollywood movie is “not even the storyline of the real butler.”
Children must be made aware of Reagan’s greatness so his legacy can live on.